Poet Bill Berkson Has Died

Poets Frank O'Hara and Bill Berkson
Poets Frank O'Hara and Bill Berkson

Poet Bill Berkson Has Died, (August 30, 1939 - June 16, 2016)

I read from Facebook that the poet Bill Berkson died today. Very sad news. He was a great writer and a very genial person. I was able to meet him and chat with him a little bit at this event

Friday, October 16 [2009], 7 pm
Bill Berkson
with Ed Barrett, William Corbett, Michael Gizzi and Joseph Torra
Pierre Menard Gallery
10 Arrow Street
Cambridge, MA

I can say with certainty that he was genial, because what I chose to chat with him about was the book I was reading at the time. I wasn't finished with it yet. However, he had been referenced in the earlier sections, so I mentioned it. I said I like the book. It was had a tinge of gossip to it but it had more of the atmosphere of the exciting chatter about poetry that occurs after a reading while people are doing what we're doing. He was very nice to have agreed. Because the book was "Digressions on Some Poems By Frank O'Hara"
Digressions on Some Poems By Frank O'Hara book cover
and when I got to the Bill Berkson chapter, a chapter that kinda eviscerates him and sorts blames him for the end of the author, Joe LeSueur's friendship with the subject of the book, Frank O'Hara, I got really embarrassed for previous month's me. The fact that he was so nice about me bringing up the book, well, that speaks volumes about his solid character. And he was well-loved by the people who knew him well.

As for his work? Exciting, boundary-pushing, aesthetically up my abstract alley. And not for everyone (like, say, Joe LeSueur) but I loved it.

He will be greatly missed.

More information on the poet Bill Berkson available at:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Berkson

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poets/detail/bill-berkson

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